Straight Shootin’: Illinois gun registration a bad idea, Rahm

Eric R. Sonnenberg

By Eric R. Sonnenberg

Thursday, Feb. 9, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) announced plans to call for an Illinois gun registry. He wants to know the make and model of every gun you own, along with its caliber, serial number and when and where it was produced.

Emanuel reasons that we register automobiles, so why not firearms? He says this will help law enforcement identify the owners of guns used in crimes.

Emanuel wants to charge $65 per gun for registration, and it would be good for five years. Renewal after that would be $25 per gun. Failure to comply with the registration would result in a felony conviction.

This wacky plan is a violation of our Second Amendment rights, and will do nothing to solve gun violence or reduce the staggering crime rate in the Land of Lincoln.

Law-abiding citizens who own firearms don’t commit crime, and criminals who do are not going to register their guns. This plan has very little support from state politicians. Democrats and Republicans alike have called the plan absurd and ridiculous.

This plan is a blatant attempt to infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. Registration is the first step toward confiscation. If the government knows who has what guns, they can come to your door and demand you turn them over. Virtually every country that eventually outlawed guns started the process with registration.

This plan is an obvious money grab by a liberal, anti-gun politician that will serve no useful purpose and cost Illinois residents millions. I know many collectors who have well more than 100 firearms in their collection, and that would cost them thousands of dollars.

The City of Chicago already has a registration requirement, and that has proven ineffective in reducing gun violence because Chicago has one of the highest murder rates in the country. Now, Emanuel wants to make it harder for EVERY law-abiding resident of Illinois to defend themselves. He is NOT the mayor of Illinois, and he should get his own house in order before he tries to tell the rest of the state what to do.

When former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley announced in 2010 he would not run for re-election, I was elated. I figured whoever the new mayor of Chicago would be could not possibly be as anti-gun as Daley. I figured wrong.

Since his days as chief of staff for President Barack Obama, Emanuel has widely been known as the most anti-gun politician in the United States. He was largely responsible for Obama’s position during the last presidential campaign to bring back the assault weapons ban that was in place during the Bill Clinton administration.

After little more than a year in office, Mayor Emanuel has already started chipping away at our freedoms. This plan is not going to fly because Illinois residents simply will not stand for it.

Not only should we not register guns in Illinois, we should be allowed to carry them as well. Illinois is now the only state in the union with no form of concealed carry. All other 49 states have recognized our right to protect ourselves. NOW is the time to let your state lawmakers know you want concealed carry in Illinois. We came very close to passing it last April, and I believe this spring, with your help, we will finally get it done. A concealed carry town hall meeting will be at Giovanni’s, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Emanuel’s plan will only add to the already burdensome process of owning a handgun, and Illinois’ refusal to recognize our god-given right to self-preservation will only make it harder for law-abiding Illinois residents to defend ourselves.

The City of Chicago and the State of Illinois should not be able to infringe on our federal right to keep and bear arms. The arrogance, stupidity and corruption of some of our state and local politicians have made Illinois the laughing stock of the country.

Eric R. Sonnenberg is a Federal Firearms Licensed gun dealer who owns Forest City Firearms, 137 N. Chicago Ave., Rockford or online at He can be reached at (815) 262-4279 or via e-mail to

From the Feb. 22-28, 2012, issue

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